Egypt

Saudi Arabia along with GCC launches military operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen

Saudi Arabia along with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and several other countries have started military operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The operations were stated after Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had requested to counter radical Houthi movement in the country and to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen.

The military operation included series of airstrikes which targeted Presidential Palace in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

The countries included in the operation led by Saudi Arabia are Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan along with GCC member countries. GCC members involved are United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

United States also has announced authorised logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia led military operations, but has clearly mentioned that its forces will not participate in operations directly.

Indian Government also has issued advisory asking Indian nationals in Yemen to leave the country in view of the continuing fragile situation there.

Background

  • The security situation in Yemen deteriorated after the Shia Houthis rebels had seized power by dissolving Yemen’s government and parliament in January 2015.
  • Since then rebels had taken control of key government buildings in capital Sanaa including Presidential Palace. They also had taken control and seized city of Taiz, third largest city of Yemen.

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Egypt’s best-known actresses Faten Hamama passes away

One of Egypt’s best known actresses Faten Hamama has passed away. She was 83.

She was known as the Lady of the Arabic Screen and was a star of the golden age of Egyptian cinema.

About Faten Hamama

  • She was born in 1931. She had started her film career in 1939, when she was only 7 years old in Youm Saeed (Happy Day), alongside legendary singer Mohamed Abdel Wehab.
  • She was an Arab film icon who had appeared in almost 100 films.
  • Her film career was at its peak in the 1950s when she met fellow three-time Golden Globe winner actor Omar Sharif, later whom she married.
  • She played important role in improving the cinema industry in Egypt and emphasized the importance of women in cinema and Egyptian society.
  • She had appeared in films including Struggle in the Valley (1954), The Nightingale’s Prayer (1959), I Want a Solution (1974) and The Night of Fatima’s Arrest (1985).
  • She also had appeared on several TV shows, such as 1992’s Dameer Abla Hekmat (The Conscience of Mrs. Hekmat) and 2000’s Wagh Al-Qamar (Face of the Moon).

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Fatah and Hamas agree on unity government in Gaza

Rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a unified government in Gaza that is set to assume power immediately. The government will be headed by Mahmoud Abbas, as agreed upon by the two sides in talks held in Egypt. The two sides agreed to the unity government along with the UN controlling the Gaza border crossings. Also, a decision has been made to constitute a joint committee than will oversee implementation of previous reconciliation agreements between the two factions.

The deal will see Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by some countries, cede power in the Gaza strip which has been under its control since 2007 when it won elections there. Since gaining power, Hamas has fought three wars with Israel. Its recent conflict with Israel also ended in a ceasefire deal which stipulated that Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority must control the civil administration of Gaza.

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